There was an “Old Time County Fair” kind of atmosphere, as new owner/operators Kurt & Kyla Belich and Ross Morrison welcomed approximately 500 people to the races on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful day and you could feel the excitement ripple through the crowd as the first race at The Track On 2 in Lacombe, Alberta made its way out onto the race track.
Thirteen exhibition (non pari-mutuel wagering) races were held on this inaugural day at The Track On 2 and fans and horsemen alike cannot wait to see it happen again. There were fans in attendance from Okotoks in the south to Sturgeon County (north of Edmonton) in the north. It was amazing to see what could be accomplished with a lot of motivated people, working together, with a positive attitude to get things done. The commitment of Horse Racing Alberta, the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association, and the horsemen combined with the hardworking group of family and friends surrounding the Belich and Morrison team, made for an amazing day. Many people remarked on how great it was to see horse racing return to Central Alberta and are looking forward to more.
Food vendors provided excellent food and service to the crowd, and Executive Director of the ASHA, Fred Gillis is quoted as saying “What made the day, was the great team and management we had to work with, and to top it off, I had the best hot dog ever”. At the end of the day, as the team was wrapping things up, Kurt Belich commented on what a pleasure it was to work with everyone, and how grateful he and his partners were for the support and guidance of Horse Racing Alberta’s, Shirley McClellan and the many hours of work and support from Fred Gillis. Staff, Management, Fans, and Horsemen all came away with a feeling of success, and enthusiasm.